New research reveals that a staggering 30 per cent of business travellers would accept a lower paying job if it meant travelling more for work.
Commissioned by Booking.com for Business, the global leader in connecting business travellers with the widest selection of places to stay, the research shows that company bosses are potentially under-valuing business travelling as a staff remuneration ‘bargaining chip,’ as well as a workforce motivation and retention tool.
These findings reflect a broader trend identified by Booking.com for Business which reveals that employees are increasingly blurring the line between business and leisure. Data shows that nearly half of business travellers (49 per cent) have extended their business travelling to a different city or country in the past 12 months, with nearly one third of this group (27 per cent) claiming they intend to do the same in 2017.
It’s a trend Booking.com for Business predicts will continue in the coming year, with 46 per cent of those surveyed believe they will be travelling more for business in 2017 than they did in 2016.
Ripsy Bandourian, director of product development, Booking.com for Business comments, ‘No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travelling is increasingly seen as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration and progress in a career.
‘Today’s laptop and latte breed of employee is increasingly mobile and fluid with their travel plans, looking to strike a balance between business and leisure travel – bleisure.
‘As such, they expect employers to keep pace with their need for greater fluidity and flexibility and are even prepared to negotiate on salary to do so. It’s why Booking.com for Business is focused on providing a diverse range of accommodation choices for business travellers, as well as ensuring they can find, manage and enjoy company stays in the simplest, smartest and most rewarding way.’
To help guide companies through the changing preferences of business travellers, Booking.com for Business has identified a series of trends and packaged together some helpful tips for a workforce increasingly on the move.
Off the beaten path
While cities like London, Paris and Frankfurt remain business travel hotspots, Booking.com for Business has also identified the top 10 fastest growing cities for business travellers. Some of the fastest growing cites for business travellers (based on booking growth over the past 12 months) include Prague, Budapest and Guangzhou.
With 55 per cent of people saying they enjoy traveling for business, more hidden gem destinations are encouraging this new breed of business travellers to tack on extra days to their trips to explore and make the most of their time away from the office.
Frustrated by downtime
Downtime is a huge inconvenience for the modern business traveller. Booking.com for Business research reveals that 62 per cent of people are eager to do as many activities as possible when visiting a new location, so minimising transit time and maximising the sights and sounds of new cities is very important.
To help business travellers achieve this, Booking.com for Business created a map to be used as an indispensable guide outlining the average time it takes to get from the airplane to their downtown accommodations at the top 20 business destinations around the world.
Generation on the go
This new breed of business traveller is way more likely to book a trip or change their travel plans at the last minute. Research from Booking.com for Business reveals that of those who stated they travel for business, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) book their travel within a week before their trip for domestic locations, with one quarter of respondents (24 per cent) booking their international business trip four weeks or less before departure.
‘It’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to business travel is no longer sufficient with this new breed of employee. Whether it’s exploring new destinations, using technology or apps to make their employees’ experience more seamless, or trying out different places to stay such as villas or home stays, companies should build this flexibility into corporate travel policies or give staff the freedom to plan, book and manage their own itineraries.
‘It can reap massive rewards in terms of staff satisfaction levels and make companies far more attractive to outside talent.’